Over the course of 5 years, folk music has increasingly infected pop radio. However, many of the bands producing these sounds are only mirror images of groups like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. In 2011, listeners were introduced to the neo-folk worshipful styles of Ghost Ship, and after an EP and one full-length project, it feels that the band has successfully developed their own unique sound with their latest album, Costly.
The album opens with the welcoming "Invitation." The music is bright and cheery without being condescending. Thankfully, this same sentiment is scattered throughout the album on such songs as "Adoption," "The Way" and "You Loved Us First." Furthermore, all of these songs are easy to adapt to a church gathering setting, and it not sound like everything else. Worship leaders looking for something a little weightier will find it on tracks such as "Look What God Has Done" and "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." While they aren't somber by any stretch of the imagination, they seem to have a more reverent sound.
The true highlight of the album is actually a pair of songs: "Peace" and "Provide." The former track is a beautiful prayer that pleads for the hope of Christ, as lead singer Cam Huxford sings, "Peace, you allude me in my days and dreams and without you I am wandering. I need you right now more than ever." It's a melancholy yet honest picture of the Christian life and the necessity of finding our hope in Christ. The latter of the two tracks is once again a prayer--yet in a confessional way--asking for the Lord's provision. It's incredibly ponderous while at the same time hopeful. Furthermore, regarding these two songs, the music is captivating. It's not overly complicated or complex; it's just smooth music with authentic lyrics.
The album concludes with the ethereal "Hesed." This is without a doubt the most thoughtful track on the album. It's musically full and is almost treated as a selah of sorts as it leaves listeners to meditate on God's lovingkindness. While it's not as upbeat as the preceding songs, it closes the album on a very considerate note.
Overall, Costly is one of the albums that 2015 needs to bring it out of its musical slump. The instrumentation is rich, the lyrics doctrinally and introspectively deep, and the production is fantastic. This is definitely a great album to start the Fall season off on the right foot. Plus, if this is the beginning of a new "season" for Ghost Ship, the future looks very bright.- Review date: 8/23/15, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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